In 2018, with the support of the D.C. Council, OAG launched “Cure the Streets”—a violence interruption pilot program that operates in two sites - one in Ward 5 and one in Ward 8 - with some of the highest rates of gun violence. Cure the Streets uses proven, public-health strategies that treat violence like a disease that can be interrupted, treated, and stopped from spreading. The CURE violence model has seen 20-60 percent reductions in shootings and killings in more than 100 cities nationwide and globally and is data driven. Cure the Streets focuses on three main actions:
- Interrupt: Interrupt potentially violent conflicts by preventing retaliation and mediating simmering disputes;
- Treat: Identify and treat individuals at the highest risk for conflict by providing support services and changing behavior; and
- Change: Engage communities in changing norms around violence.
In partnership with the National Association for the Advancement of Returning Citizens (NAARC), Cure the Streets, and community leaders, OAG hired and trained credible District residents, or “violence interrupters,” with deep ties to their neighborhoods to engage with warring camps, attempt to calm tense situations, and mediate between the sides to stop violence before it happens. Cure the Streets has also held more than 60 community events, Safe Passage walks for neighborhood schools, and held a Thanksgiving Day of Service.
Since its launch, about 6 months ago, Cure the Streets has seen positive early results. To continue this program, AG Racine secured $2 million to fund Cure the Streets through mid-2020 as a result of a settlement OAG negotiated in the AltaGas-Washington Gas merger in 2018.
- Testimony before the D.C. Council's Committee on the Judiciary & Public Safety (09/25/18)